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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,847 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,847
Hads: 10,356
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 229
Gots: 2,203 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,847 | Hads: 10,356
Photo of DCP
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much better from a bottle than a keg on my palate.
My fishing companion.
Great heavy end all day beer.
I don't really order it on tap though.
It's less bitter and usually less fresh for me due to less hop and about the same body, maybe something else.
I've heard there are different recipes used for the bottles and kegs.
So I'm rating from the one I like better. (363 characters)

Photo of mozart4898
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured to pint glass. Had it many times before, first time reviewing.

L - Deep golden color. Aggressive pour yields a 2 finger head which fades quickly to a ring around the pint glass. Slightly less than perfect clarity from a tiny bit of yeast from bottle conditioning.
S - Bit of caramel sweetness with floral hops in the background. Not overly distinctive in any one aroma.
T - Balance between malt and gentle hop bitterness with neither dominating. Again, hops show as more floral and possibly somewhat piney than the citrus usually associated with Cascade hops.
F - Mouthfeel is spot on for my expectation of the style - perfect moderate carbonation, not too thin yet refreshing.
O - SNPA probably seems underhopped to many hopheads today (myself included) but I can't fault a beer that's been around since I was born for staying true to its roots. Still a great choice for sessions as well as a great beer with many different types of food. Also doesn't hurt that you can find it pretty much anywhere. My go-to when I can't decide on something else or when choice is limited. (1,103 characters)

Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apperance - Pours a very nice brownish copper color, very nice to look at. Nice size head that leaves behind some nice tight lacing.

Smell - A small hint of bread aroma followed by some citrus.

Taste - A nice hop kick with a nice side of citrus taste to it. Not an overly hoppy brew but very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - A very smooth pale ale, very crisp in the mouth.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. A great beer to just sit back and enjoy a few. Also a great starter beer to the land of craft brew.

Comments - This is one of my all time favorites. One that I am constantly going back to at least once a month for a revisit. Very accessable in my next of the woods as it is with most palces now and I take full advantage of it. (747 characters)

Photo of BruceBeerman
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the sweet nector of a west coast pale ale. The cascade hops with their citrus/floral aroma, the nice bitterness, and the wonderful mouthfeel of this beer it very nice. One of the best of its style.

It is nice golden color with 2 finger head. The foam disapate slowly and nice lacy foam clings to the glass as you drink it. It is bottle conditioned, so don't pour the sentement at the bottom of the bottle (dead yeast). It won't hurt, but just a little too bitter and off flavor as the rest is intended.

I love the history of this bewery and how they were pioneers in developing and marketing the APA style. One of the first and few true west coast micros to be sold in Pennsylvania.

Half of my homebrews are APA style because I liked it so much. SN APA is one of the reasons why. I love the floral cascade hops (and plenty of them). (845 characters)

Photo of bigchris1313
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden yellow, with a white head.

Smell: Hops. And a smidgen of malt. But most importantly, hops, which for me is the selling point because I love hops.

Taste: What can I say, other than it is the epitome of the Pale Ale. More hops than a pilsner, with a tidbit more malt. Almost grassy.

Mouthfeel: Like a macro with more body and somehow "more solid" carbonation.

Drinkability: It gets a 4.5 because it's a solid beer that isn't very powerful.

Notes: What can I say about this beer? It's the beer that brought me into the realm of Beer Advocacy. This is the gateway drug of good beer. Furthermore, it's an incredible fall-back beer. If you're at a a moderate to nice bar in California, chances are they have this beer in bottles, so even if they fail to have anything incredible, you can usually get this beer. It's akin to having to drive your Cadillac while your Mercedes is in the shop. (919 characters)

Photo of matsputis
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber with some orange

It smells like a big grapefruit. Also has bready-biscuit aroma - a nice balance of hops and malts.

A strong citrus taste with bitterness starts it off, followed by the malty presence and a nice crisp aftertaste. The bitterness stays for a little bit.

It has a very nice crispness to it. Clean flavors

I especially like the aftertaste, and the bitterness gives it a nice kick. The grapefruit flavor I can deal with, but it's a bit strong. I'm fine with just one. (503 characters)

Photo of Daybis
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold appearance. Very frothy and creamy head that lasted a long time. Lacing clings all the way down the glass as the beer is drank.

S - Hoppy and kind of sweet.

T - Sweet upfront with the perfect amount of hop flavor.

M - Medium body without a whole lot of carbonation.

D - This beer is great. It is very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is great. Great aroma, head retention, and taste. (426 characters)

Photo of mrhiccups
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice APA, not overly hoppy, balanced with taste of some pine, some citrus. Flavor is not overpowering like some in this class. Cascade hops add some "distinction" to the taste. Am waiting to go to my local watering hole to try this on tap, as they just started serving this beer! Overall, very drinkable indeed. (311 characters)

Photo of Dusty8807
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review attempt and I figured this was a pretty good beer to start with. A friend of mine in Minnesota has been pointing me to it's reviews here and raving about it lately.

My first thought upon pouring it out into my glass is the look. I love the crystal clear Amber color this beer has, and the nice white/light brownish colored head it produces, which seems to last for a good few minutes.
I'm not too great on getting the scent of a beer, but I would say this had a nice almost flowery aroma to it.
The taste is good, a slight bread flavored bitterness followed by a very slight tangy taste that I can only describe as fruity, almost apple and citrus flavored.
I'd say this beer is quite drinkable, this being my second one tonight actually. It goes down smooth and tasty. Friends of mine all found it to their liking when I let them taste it as well. (881 characters)

Photo of breakofdawn
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round. (552 characters)

Photo of drinkofczars
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Very light copper color. One of the clearest Pale Ales I have ever seen. Great looking head on the pour, perfect amount.

S- Nice strong cascadian hop scent. Floral notes come through a lot on this brew.

T- I wish the hop flavor was a little more powerful. Perfect amount of citrus flavor. Though the scent had floral notes, i do not detect any in the taste of the beer.

M- Perfect. I wish more Pale Ales had this thinner type of feel. I find that IPA's and other Pale Ales seem too thick.

O- Perfect beer to start someone on who is not too fond of hops. The citrus flavor and the floral scents will please any type of preference.

Solid Beer. (651 characters)

Photo of JJfreeou21
4.91/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the hop heads equivalent of bud light. An everyday beer bursting with flavor and quality. Extremely accessible. My go to beer. Wonderful for all occasions. (163 characters)

Photo of stevegamburg
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is no reason not to drink this pale ale. Very smooth flavor with a medium body. Nice hop bitterness, but not overpowering like some other pale ales.
A great value. They sell twelve packs of this stuff for the same price as Corona or Amstel which aren't even in the same category as Sierra's Pale Ale. Enjoy. (315 characters)

Photo of beckscrusader420
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Sierra Nevada beers are extremely good. I like this one as far as ales go but I prefer lagers/porter. Typical of Sierra Nevada is good lacing nice standing head and a damn good beer. Sierra Nevada is right up there with Sam Adams. Definately shouldn't be overlooked in a sea of beers at a huge liqour store. (311 characters)

Photo of CFbeermaker
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful clear rich golden color with a 1/4 inch off white head and frothy lacing down the glass as you drink. It has a real nice scent of grapefruit and floral hops. Tastes good. You get a real nice citrus flavor with barley malt and a floral hop finish. This beer is really light, smooth and very refreshing. This is a great beer for those beginning their hop journey. I think it would be great on a nice summer day. (428 characters)

Photo of bcgoldtoe
2.56/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As one of the highest rated pale ales, I looked forward to a great balanced beer. I was, however, disappointed to see that the complexity I seeked was sorely lacking.

A= Solid, beautiful golden color with hints of amber

S= Better than a macrobrew but this was the first hint something wasn't right

T= Way overhopped. Needs more malt and fewer hops. Bitterness does fade into slight sweetness but does it have to take so long?

M= Excellent, one of the better balanced mouthfeels. Not too thick, not too thin

D= It's ok, once you get past the overpowering hops.

If you're not a fan of strong hops, avoid this beer. I do agree with the comment about this being Budweiser with hops. If you want a great microbrew pale ale without huge amounts of hops, I recommend Dogfish Head amber ale or Fat Tire. (814 characters)

Photo of AndySR15
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a light golden orange color with a nice light head that leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

S: Aromas of hops and citrus are most prominent but there is a definately some malt aromas that come through.

T: A great balance of hops and malt. Starts out with a nice hop bite and finishes with a bit of malty sweetness and hops.

M: Great! Light, crisp and clean with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: A great Pale and a great session beer. Nothing betther than having a case of this stuff while you are tending to the BBQ. You can easily drink quite a few. (569 characters)

Photo of southernbelle09
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard a lot about this one so I finally decided to give it a try. Has a very nice, clear copper color with fluffy white head and some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This one has a nice eartly hop aroma with not much malt. A really tastey pale, has a nice body and fruity/earthy hop notes. Overall a really good beer and one I wouldn't mind drinking a few of. I'll be sure to give this one a try next time I see it! (421 characters)

Photo of bluesoul
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into pint glass a pretty gold with two fingers of white, bubbly foam. Leaves quite a bit of lace.

S - Not a bad-smelling beer, but doesn't distinguish itself really. It IS an improvement over the smells in your average BMC creation. Very similar to SN Celebration, which I had first.

T - A bit lighter than Celebration (no surprise there), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Still plenty of hops, but doesn't have the sweet finish that Celebration does. In the end the beer tilts toward the hoppy end of the spectrum.

M - Slick and light-bodied. Finish is bitter but clean. Can't detect any alcohol over the hops. Carbonation is just a touch weak but not enough to really matter.

D - Given my choice I'll take the Celebration Ale over the Pale Ale when it's available but Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a quality beer. Easily sessionable. (853 characters)

Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours in good and has a thick head on it. Great smell and even better taste. I didn't know what to expect when I first tried this one, but I'm glad I dove in. It gave me my love of American Pale Ale's. I'm never tired of this brew and it is still one that is on my top 10 list. (287 characters)

Photo of Bravo4
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this straight from the bottle into a German seidel.

A- It has a rich golden, amber color to it with a 1-finger white head that disipates quickly. It leaves a nice ring of head around the glass and slight lacing. The lacing annd head seems to have a gritty texture.

S- My sense of smell isn't all that good but it definately has some citrus scent to it with a slight floral hops aroma. I also detect a minute amout of pine.

T- Like the smell it has a citrus/pine flavor with a slight hops bitterness. The bitterness of the hops isn't too agressive but it isn't overly lacking either.

M- It has decent carbonation and a creamy but not heavy feel.

D- It's definately a very drinkable beer. It would be one of my choices for a session. I would recommend this to someone who isn't familiar with pale ales or is used to American macros but it's also enjoyable for a seasoned pale ale vet. (897 characters)

Photo of wvu9787
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 22oz Fear and Loathing beer mug, bought at local beer store a 24oz. bottle at $2.69, 5.6 ABv.

A: Dark yellow, maybe a bright gold color, Very carbonated, bubbles rising off the off white head.

S: Hops, pine with a citrus smell, very little smell overall,but then again my nose is a little stoped up.

T: Citrus, very grapefruit to me, lemon/lime, not really too hoppy for a pale ale but is there, it does taste good and is very refreshing, makes me think of summer, a good beer to drink when riding the ol' lawn mower.

M: Carbonated, however very thirst quenching, somewhat dry in the finish over all not bad and is a little bitter.

D: Very drinkable, i am not a "Hop Head" by any means and dont usualy drink PA/IPAs but i do enjoy this one its not over the top with hops and is very refreshing, love the grapefruit taste to it.

I do enjoy this beer, its a ideal summer beer IMO
even though is pretty cold out and is in mid OCT. its still a good choice if your looking for a light tasting pale ale, not bad at all. (1,035 characters)

Photo of TheMirrorOwl
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey golden amber, voluminous white head, lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation visible, dissipates quickly.

Smell: Floral, citrus fruit and sweet malt.

Taste: Moderately bitter grapefruit flavor leads into sweet floral earthy malt. Pine in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter on the medium-bodied scale. The carbonation dissipates quickly, which I like, but that leaves the beer somewhat sticky feeling. Fairly astringent.

Overall: The hop potency is more akin to an American IPA, which is what I'd call this by traditional standards. No denying this is a great brew. There are finer, but for the money, this is a well crafted IPA that doesn't disappoint. A solid go-to for hop heads everywhere. (707 characters)

Photo of FrankWBurnsIII
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been some time since Sierra Nevada's pale ale has graced by taste buds, but I wanted to be sure to give it a shout out on BA.

This was probably one of the first craft beers I ever had and my love for the whole category took off after that.

Among the pale ales I have had, I would say it's the best one. In fairness, I do not drink a lot of pale ale.

Among my non-craft drinking friends, this seems to be a favorite just the same, so the beer is really offering something for everyone. (494 characters)

Photo of isaacpopp
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: yellowish orange pours with a 1 to 2 finger head that dissipates fairly quickly with little lacing.

S: a nice hoppy citrus aroma with some grassy notes as well

T: hop bitterness with some but definitely on the bitter side

M: light carbonation that is pleasant and leaves just a bit of a tingle on the taste buds in combination with the bittering hops. Thin mouthfeel otherwise.

O: Overall this is a really solid beer and one that you could drink as a session if not for the 5.6% ABV. A good bet if you are in the mood for a pale ale. Good quality to price ratio too! (574 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.